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To Know You, Jarel Zhang SS24

Jarel Zhang presented his Spring-Summer collection with 53 looks that created a strong alternative to the categorization of fashion genres. The models wearing the clothes created a scenario but also became subject of paintings. 16 exceptionally talented artists from different countries joined the runway to capture their perceptions of the collection.


Photo courtesy of Jarel Zhang


The clothes presented on the runway and drawn at the presentation by the artist are mostly deconstructed and rebuilt together, creating unusual but yet flattering silhouettes, combining in one single item different parts of clothes, measurements, textiles and patterns. From exaggerated oversized sweatshirts with belts on the shoulders to padded jackets with cutouts and miniskirts. All combining deconstructed garments mixing different materials, from tulle and transparent tissues to leather and synthetic materials. This combination of perfectly assembled and deconstructed designs to create new form and function of the clothes was decorated with pearls, feathers, buttons, a lot of belts and lace. Giving a touch of splendor to the clothes that mostly reminded one of post apocalyptic-chic imagery, with messy outfits that felt very cohesive.


The colors were mostly neutrals, with a lot of black and white combined with beiges, grays, and greens, making exception for some pieces of bright pink, creating a great contrast. And the patterns were abstract and very fluid, monochromatic over black or white items. What put together all the outfits presented by Zhang, is the styling, emphasizing mostly the layering of the clothes that worked perfectly to create what was the aim of the creator. Disrupt the conventional categorization of fashion genres by blending and reconfiguring their distinct characteristics.

What we saw in this collection reminded IRK of a new post-matrix aesthetic. After the movie first premiered, opening to themes about the now-famous virtual realities and multiverse, we saw the big influence it had. Mostly in cinema, art, and culture but also setting trends in the fashion world, and nowadays movies and series continue to influence the fashion industry with trends but most importantly as inspirations. Likewise, this collection was created taking inspiration from an animated series that created a futuristic vision of dressing and approaching clothes that feels very contemporary.


Photo courtesy of Jarel Zhang


In fact, the Spring-Summer collection is inspired by the episode "The Very Pulse of the Machine" from the series "Love, Death, and Robots." The collection draws on themes of consciousness, survival, and the relationship between humans and machines. In the episode, the protagonist, astronaut Kivelson, has her consciousness persist after her physical body perishes and connects with a machine named I.O. Kivelson discovers that I.O.'s purpose is "to know her," referring to understanding the essence of humanity. Eventually, Kivelson merges with I.O., symbolizing a profound integration between humans and machines. The collection aims to disrupt traditional fashion genres by blending their characteristics and achieving mutual enhancement. The overall concept revolves around the idea of understanding and the return to our original source in nature.

To pursue the meaning behind the collection, Jarel Zhang decided to involve 16 artists from all over the world in the presentation to capture their interpretations of the collection after careful analysis and contemplation. In this way, letting others perceptions emerge and showing different knowledge of something that was the exact center of attention and for what everybody was there: the new clothes. The drawings were also hung on to the setting of the runway, letting everybody admire the insights and perceptions of the artist creating this way, a presentation with an alternate configuration mode, the same exact concept that inspired the designs of the clothes, coming this way in full circle.


Photo courtesy of Jarel Zhang


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